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Walters State Choir to Perform Commissioned Piece
April 19, 2021

UPDATE: This performance can now be seen on the Walters State YouTube Channel.

Enjoy the spring Walters State Choral Program concert from anywhere this year. The concert can be viewed live at 3 p.m., April 25, on the college’s YouTube Channel. After the live performance, the video may be viewed at any time.

This concert will have a small audience for the performance at First Presbyterian Church in Morristown. A second performance is planned for 5:30 p.m. on the same day. Seating is very limited, which is why the choir chose to perform live on YouTube. Ticket inquiries may be emailed to Laura Ritter, director of music and theatre at Walters State at
The concert program features the premier of a piece commissioned for the choir, “One Ship Sails East.” The composer is Dr. Anthony Bernarducci, director of choral activities and vocal arts at Clemson University.
The piece honors Ritter’s late mother, Peggy Lingerfelt. Lingerfelt taught high school English and served as an adjunct faculty member at Walters State for 18 years. 
Bernarducci set music to an Ella Wheeler Wilcox poem, “One Ship Sails East.” The poem has personal meaning to Ritter
“My mother cross-stitched this poem and hung it over the sink,” Ritter said. 
“I looked at those words every time I washed the dishes, baked cookies, or just stood in the kitchen laughing with my friends. It became part of the tapestry of my youth, and now I am able to share it with my students in a beautiful new way,” Ritter said. 
The poem reminds us that we, not our circumstances, determine our fate.
“Tis the set of the soul that determines the goal, 
 not the calm or the strife.”
“Since March of 2020, choral musicians have felt a lot of strife, but I’m thankful for the calm that singing has brought,” Ritter said.
The composition brings a new instrument, the guitar, to the choral concert. 
“That’s an instrument that is not usually associated with choral music. The guitar adds to this piece,” Ritter said. Sam Morgan, an alumnus of the choir, will be returning to fill the guitar’s part.
Ritter has established an endowed scholarship in honor of her mother with the Walters State Foundation. The scholarship is open for contributions. 
The choir will also be performing “Evening Gale,” another composition by Bernarducci. 
“God Gives the Song” will be performed in memory of Dr. Marc McClure, a history professor who passed away during the college’s 2020 Christmas break.
“Dr. McClure was a supporter of the choir and encouraged many of our students. I chose this song as it reminds us that music brings back memories of lost loved ones,” Ritter said.
There is no cost to view the performance. Walters State’s YouTube page is

CUTLINE: The Walters State Choir will perform April 25 at First Presbyterian Church in Morristown. The performance can be viewed live on the college’s YouTube page.